• Question: How much money do you earn because if you get alot and you really care about your job and finding out new things then why dont you tell them to lower your pay ,which sounds stupid but if you did that whoever you work for would have more money to buy new and better equipment to find things quicker and easier

    Asked by 07hporter to Gioia, Iain, Jo, Leo, Mariam on 14 Jun 2010 in Categories: .
    • Photo: Iain Moal

      Iain Moal answered on 14 Jun 2010:

      I don’t get paid very much, because I’m still a student. Its enough to get by, and have the odd treat. I don’t do my job to get rich, I do it because I love it and because I hope that some day my work will alleviate suffering.

    • Photo: Mariam Orme

      Mariam Orme answered on 14 Jun 2010:

      That’s actually a very good point. Unfortunately though, scientists don’t earn all that much money! Compared to friends of mine who are lawyers, accountants and doctors, I earn much less, and if scientists’ wages were much lower than they are now, it would be very hard to attract good people to go into science – they would all do jobs that are better paid instead.

      And the other problem is that the amount of money needed to buy equipment and other things we need is huge – much higher than what we earn. So even if I gave up one third of my salary for buying equipment, it wouldn’t go very far at all.

      But I think you have a great attitude to life to think of that option!

    • Photo: Leo Garcia

      Leo Garcia answered on 14 Jun 2010:

      Fantastic question! Lots of stuff to think about with this one.

      To start with, I earn £17,000 per year, and I don’t pay tax on that because I’m a student. To be honest, I can’t imagine getting by on less than that – so as nice as giving some of that back to the Institute of Cancer Research would be, I probably wouldn’t be able to live very comfortably if I earned less than that – and so I wouldn’t necessarily be able to do my job properly.

      Scientists, generally, get their money from research grants which they have applied for and won. These are often in the millions of pounds range. Now, whilst I’m sure that most scientists would say that they would LIKE more money (who wouldn’t?), I would think that the money in each grant generally covers most of the equipment, staff and travel costs etc. that go into completing the scientific objectives that they want to complete.

      I give money to Cancer Research UK, and I’d certainly consider leaving money to that charity in my will (as many people often do) – so even if I’m not asking them to take money out of wages, I suppose I can still give money to them in different ways. And by working for that charity, and publishing lots of good scientific papers, I can ensure that my department has a good enough reputation to ensure continued funding.

      By the way, that’s one of the most interesting questions I’ve been asked – certainly not stupid at all.

    • Photo: Gioia Cherubini

      Gioia Cherubini answered on 14 Jun 2010:

      Wow, this is a question I didn’t expect to get!
      I’m guessing that you think that scientists earn a lot of money, but unfortunately this is not true! We earn much much less than medical doctors and less than a lot of other jobs. Plus, we don’t have permanent jobs, but only contracts of few years (at most 5, but my contract here was initially for 2 years only).We are really passionate about what we do and we don’t mind working extra hours or weekends to get those important results, but we also want to be able to live life comfortably and possibly to build a family, wouldn’t you?